During World War II, the force consisted of 3,150 soldiers and 54,000 war pigeons, which were considered an undetectable method of communication. Over 90% of US Army messages sent by pigeons were received. The pigeon G.I. Joe received the Dickin Medal for gallantry that saved up to 1,000 lives.
From 1917–1943 and 1946–1957, the US Army Pigeon Breeding and Training Center was based at Fort Monmouth, N.J. From October 1943 until June 1946, the center was based at Camp Crowder. The US Army discontinued using pigeons as message carriers in 1957. Fifteen "hero pigeons" were donated to zoos, and about a thousand other pigeons were sold to the public.